Philly schools could see state funding bump under Gov. Wolf's budget
Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed budget would dramatically boost state funding for Philadelphia schools, but the spending plan is already facing strong pushback from the Republican-controlled legislature.
What's happening: The School District of Philadelphia could receive $1.6 billion this year under the governor's $43.7 billion budget proposal unveiled Tuesday, Wolf spokesperson Elizabeth Rementer told Axios.
- That's a more than 31% bump, or an additional $410 million in state funding, over last year, per district spokesperson Christina Clark.
By the numbers: The district's special education programs would get a boost of $70 million under the proposed budget.
- The district also could reap $145 million in savings from changes to the state’s charter school funding formula, Rementer said.
Of note: The governor also wants to invest around $1.9 billion in new funding for public and higher education.
The big picture: Wolf's budget plan doesn't include hikes in income or sales taxes.
- Rather, the proposal — which is an increase over last year's $40 billion budget — taps into the billions of dollars the state received in federal pandemic aid.
What they're saying: State Republican leaders immediately slammed Wolf's spending blueprint.
- "The irresponsible plan proposed today increases spending by $17 million per day. If I were not actually here to see it, I would not believe such a terrible idea would actually be put forward by this governor," House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia schools superintendent William Hite called Wolf's spending proposal a "giant step forward toward an equitable and adequate state system of funding our schools."
- Hite said the funding and the charter school reforms will allow the district, which has a nearly $5 billion backlog in needed repairs, to "make new investments our students and schools deserve."
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